23 November 2009

Happy Birthday, Me

Shelved @ NYC quietly celebrated its first birthday last week. Say what? Yeah, I almost don't believe it myself. The shock is so great, in fact, that I'm off to Mexico to catch my breath. Keep it real in the City, turkeys; a tanned and blissed-out Shelved will be back in December.

19 November 2009

LeClerc Announces Retirement

At yesterday's New York Public Library Board of Trustees meeting, President Paul LeClerc revealed his intention to relinquish leadership in the summer of 2011. The early announcement gives the search committee plenty of time to find a suitable replacement.

16 November 2009

Embrace Your Independents

We're already two days into Independent Bookstore Week! All ears open to the music of language, from now through Saturday, the 21st. Brokelyn highlights some of the sassier, Brooklyn-ier offerings of this first annual installment, brought to you by the Independent Booksellers of New York City.

13 November 2009

Mid-Year Budget Crisis Threatens Library Funding

New York legislators are set to work overtime next week to reduce the State's $3.2 billion budget deficit. Governor Patterson's proposed plan includes a $3.4 million cut to Library Aid, a reduction that has public library advocates justifiably concerned. Despite New York Library Association's compelling testimony at the November 5th Senate Budget Hearing, the final outcome appears grim. Brooklyn Public Library and others urge you to contact your State Representatives and express your opposition. Time is short!

12 November 2009

Growl or Purr: NYPL Redesigns Logo

New York Public Library's stately lion logo is being replaced with a "more modern and digital-friendly image."

Out with the old:
In with the new:Better? Worse? I'm wondering how much it will cost to print new signs, banners, handouts, etc. for every single branch. But no matter. NYPL made this little video to get you all excited about the change:

03 November 2009

Student Suicide at NYU's Bobst Library

A New York University student, Andrew Williamson-Noble, committed suicide in Bobst Library at 4:30 this morning. He died after throwing himself from the 10th floor into the central atrium below. (Read NYU President John Sexton's community-wide email in the Huffington Post.)

After a spate of suicides earlier this decade, NYU erected 8-foot plexiglass barriers along the atrium-side of the library's stairwells and corridors to prevent further attempts. I work in Bobst Library and can attest that it is one depressing, vertiginous folly. Thanks, Philip Johnson. I'm not being glib. Nothing about Bobst's design inspires scholarship or contemplation. It's uncomfortable, physically and psychically. Perhaps these reflections have no bearing on this sad story, but they're worth pondering.